The Mission of the Bridger Family Association:
- To perpetuate the memory of Gen. Joseph Bridger and his family by gathering his descendants together, at least once annually, for convivial enjoyment and to enrich their appreciation for their Bridger heritage;
- To promote and underwrite historical, archeological, and genealogical research regarding Gen. Bridger and his family; to publish the results of the same, in order to raise awareness of the Bridger family’s many accomplishments; and, in so doing, to deepen the public’s understanding of this family’s significant role in Colonial Virginia’s rich history; and
- To preserve sites and records associated with the Bridger family.
The following is the benediction that our cousin Betty Cullen gave at our May 2013 Banquet/Annual Meeting:
Bridger Family Association Benediction
“We are a continuum. Just as we reach back to our ancestors for our fundamental values, so we, as guardians of that legacy, must reach ahead to our children and their children. And we do so with a sense of sacredness in that reaching.” Paul Tsongas
Our Father, hear our prayer:
God Bless the Bridger Family and all the families represented here tonight. From our German/Austrian entrepreneurial spirit to our Flemish flair and creativity to our English sensibility and fortitude – we celebrate our gifts and give thanks. We appreciate the many blessings and opportunities afforded our grandfathers, grandmothers, fathers, and mothers and offer a deep respect for their accomplishments. With knowledge that high adventure is often fraught with failures that try men’s souls, we pray that our ancestors have found redemption and peace in Your Presence.
Through your grace – the descendants of Henry, Richard, Lawrence, Samuel, and General Joseph Bridger share not only a biological connection but a historical perspective. A narrative of our familial bond and place on the continuum is expounded in archaeological finds, genealogical research, and scholarly review. Our children and their children will inherit from us the knowledge that their ancestors were explorers, farmers, soldiers, and ministers; and, they sailed oceans, braved new worlds, and served kings and queens. Our grandfathers were visionaries in architecture and ahead of their times as stewards of the environment. They were men for all seasons, and times, as they made bequeaths to the poor and less fortunate when life had run its course.
From the power of their own testaments to you, Lord, we sense their commitment to family, community, and nation. In recorded word and deed, they were distinguished by their honesty, fairness, and loyalty and known for streaks of rebelliousness, fits of pique, and fastidious protection of their coffers. Our ancestors loved their mothers and sometimes clashed with their fathers. They sued their own brothers and, yet, served as guardians for their orphaned children when death preempted life. Our ancestors were special men and women but every man and woman of the past, present, and future.
Finally, we praise you, Lord, for endowing the officers of the Bridger Family Association and organizing committee with head, heart, and soul as they gather all “cousins” in a warm embrace and reach out to the community-at-large in their quest for truths. We support their leadership and appreciate their efforts on behalf of our Family. As we pass the flame, let us not forget to teach our children to rejoice in the subtle and profound beauty of our world and to show them how to live with dignity and grace in the face of trial and tribulation. We ask our children to join with us in prayer for the conservators of our ancestral lands and homes as the sounds of Bridger laughter and sorrow still echo within and without. Last, and not least, Lord- we ask that you bless the United States of America and England and all who serve.